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Choosing the right Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) device 

A selection guide and primer on talking assistive speech generating products

 

What is an AAC device? Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices aid people who find it hard to communicate by speech or writing. Careful selection of the right AAC device can often help a person communicate more easily. The family of solutions include terms such as Speech Generating (SGD) Devices, Communicators, Communication Aids, Talking Devices and Text to Speech (TTS) technology.

Who may need an AAC device? More than 2 million people in the United States have a severe communication disorder that impairs their ability to talk (1).  

How do I choose the right one? You might chose based on lifestyle, motor skills and ability to type comfortably, and needs for verbal conversations. In technical terms, your choice for successful AAC use depends on motor, cognitive, linguistic, and sensory capabilities of the user and the operation of the AAC device chosen. For example, in many cases keyboard based speech products and devices suit patients with  laryngectomy,  tracheotomy , moderate stroke,  moderate motor skill limitations and degenerative voice afflictions, while picture based products aid autism, patients with severe motor skill limitations or cognitive ailments.

How can TextSpeak help? AAC devices include a range of devices, each designed to provide benefits focused on specific needs.  2 popular categories are keyboard based and  icon/picture based tablets. The table below offers a brief review for consideration in your selection of the right AAC device. TextSpeak products are "Keyboard Based".

   

  Keyboard Based  Picture Based

Traditional typing on a physical keyboard generates speech directly from typed text

Pointing to a graphic on a tablet or screen generates speech associated with an  image

May suit  patients and persons who desire the ability to create full phrases on demand, and who , with the correct keyboard choice, can comfortably type. May suit moderate stroke, Laryngectomy,  tracheotomy, early ALS, throat cancer, Apraxia and aphasia. Large key keyboards suit patients with moderate mobility.

May offer a solution for children with autism  or who cannot spell. Picture based systems are also well suited for patients with speech limitation associated with severe brain trauma, or injury that results in limited cognitive and/or severe restrictions that restrict typing due to limited motor/mobility movement.

Keyboard Based Picture Based
Advantages Limitations Advantages Limitations
Style Typing  offers unlimited free text speech creation. Conversations can be fluid. Keyboards require mobility and cognitive skills to type with ease. Does not require spelling. Good for severe mobility impairments Speech is fixed to exact phrases limited to a single, specific icon or image

Access

&

Mobility

Keyboards can be varied in width, weight and key size to accommodate the typing  needs of users. This flexibility offers comfort to enter text. Many devices include integrated keyboard with keyguards Some that  may not suit the needs of all users.  Power-on time varies with some devices.  Low cost picture based systems  may be lightweight, durable. Many  offer Instant-on features and operate on long life batteries  Some Windows PC based systems may a  "boot"  period of several minutes before use. Weight can increase with these systems.
Cost New  "system on a chip"  technology support prices of Text to Speech keyboard systems (wireless & corded) approaching  $500  Until recently, computer, laptop  and color screen based  products with integrated keyboards have pricing ranging  $3000-$6000.  Systems with useful and interchangeable  printed image surfaces (templates)  are available at under $1000 Versions with LCD computer 'touch screens ' can instantly change 'templates'. Costs range from  to $3000-$7000

A wonderful and comprehensives report is available here. 

North Carolina  State Assistive Technology program    

Why choose TextSpeak?

If you want a Keyboard based AAC product then TextSpeak is the only product series sold today that is flexible, simple to use and  affordable.  

We offer a 30 day refund policy. We allow you to choose the right keyboard, one that fits your needs, and we are affordable. Our products are often 70-90% less expensive than other keyboard based solutions. We can offer this price without compromise of durability, warranty and support. Every product is assembled and tested here, in the USA.

 The links below can offer some additional information. Click the MORE Icon below and you'll go right to our TextSpeak TS-04 product page.

   

  TextSpeak TS-04 AAC speech keyboard product information

     

 

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With TextSpeak TS-04 you can choose multiple keyboard options that fit your needs 

Model

Works without PC Keyboard
Style
Wireless keyboard Battery operation  Male and Female voices

 TS04-W

Wireless

 TS04-LK

Large Key    

 TS04-PALM

Handheld

TS04-W  Mini Wireless Key

 

Sleek portable wireless keyboard with automatic ON/OFF power
(12" wide, with standard keys)

 

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TS04-LK Corded Large Key

 

Speech generation with an extra large key, corded keyboard
(20" wide, with 1" square keys))

now available in wireless version!

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TS04-PALM  Handheld 

Handheld speech aid with wireless keyboard offers 'on the go' typing
(7" wide, rubberized mini keys)

 

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Where can I buy TextSpeak products?

If you feel a keyboard based product will not suit your needs you may wish to consider picture based product that produce one phrase per picture. Try these sites to see more information on picture/icon based products at Dynavox , Prentke Romich

 

 

Click here if information on speech communication device funding and insurance, including  Medicare for "Speech Generating Devices (HCPCS/CPT Code E-2508), SGD and AAC" 

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www.textspeak.com       |   About Us  |   Contact Us   |    Home   |    Copyright Digital Acoustics Corporation.

     

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Digital Acoustics Textspeak series; Leaders in Assistive Talking Keyboards. TextSpeak products generate speech as Augmentative Speech Aids. Solutions include Adaptive and Assistive Keyboards, AAC, communication devices, assistive technology for patients suffering from forms of stroke, Laryngectomy, tracheotomy, aphasia and degenerative voice and speech impairments. Full information on AAC devices ALS assistive devices for Apraxia are available as Speech Generating Devices (SGD).  Links include assistive devices assistive devices professional, augmentative communication devices augmentative communications augmentative devices augmentative keyboards., augmentative speech

 

Textspeak is a  Speech Generating Devices Affordable alternative to quality products available from Lightwirter (tm), Dynavox (tm) and GUS communications AAC (augmentative communications products).